Thursday, August 4, 2011

Karibu Tanzania...

The Board of Tourism has been trying to brand Tanzania for a long time. While I think it is ridiculous in a third-world-shady way to brand an entire country, it is a necessary evil of the modern tourist industry. Since we do put a quarter of our landmass under protection so that we can pimp... I mean conserve nature, we might as well get some crispy fresh dollars out of the process. They have come up with a slogan and I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised.

Tanzania: Feel great with friends.

No references to Kilimanjaro, no tacky animal print, no saccharine Zanzibar myth-making. Just a focus on the people and the quality of your experience here. Another way of saying: Karibu. I could live with that. If you want to comment or suggest an alternative to the people in power, email them at:


  1. No. Nuh-uh. This is Kazi ni Kwako in reverse. Mambo ya Lost in Translation. I will be writing in!

  2. ... so, apparently i got this one horribly wrong. a complete #FAIL in the taste department. sigh. but how to fix?

  3. Hmm. Ref the recent tempest in a chai-preparation-vessel over an Out of Africa themed wedding, I suspect that most tourists to Tanzania do not particularly come here seeking "friends". (A certain brand of much-slandered visitor to Zenj excepted.) Good customer service, of course, is important, but hardly the sort of thing to drive one's choice of country in which to holiday. (And not necessarily a high point of the tourism industry here, either.) I recommend sticking with the Kili (which still too many people think is in Kenya), wildlife and Zenj stereotypes if you want to sell to the uneducated but moneyed masses.

  4. ps. Friends of mine in the tourism industry tell be that TBT are pretty useless at the whole understanding the customer / selling thing except for the bit that involves lots of expensive foreign junkets, and even then they're still useless at the selling bit.

  5. Well, I was told that it has taken TBT a good decade just to get to this point where they have a slogan. A slogan which nobody likes. I guess there is no immediate danger of us actually managing to market ourselves right and getting flooded with people randomly yelling "Jambo!" at the fake Maasai trying to sell them an "elephant hair, genuine" bracelet for $50.

  6. Indeed. On t'other hand, I nearly baarf every time I hear on DSTV the sickening jingles to "Incredible India" and "Malaysia, Truly Asia", so who's to say that "Tanzania: Feel great with friends" is any worse? But maybe TBT should consider sticking with their approach of the last 10 years and market Tanzania as NOT having a baarf-inducing slogan? A sign of quality perhaps?

  7. In fact, that right there works! "Tanzania. Karibu." Followed or preceded by images of Kili, Zenj and Serengeti (sell what sells), maybe a few locals grinning and saying the word although that could be super cheesy/images of colonial times... Also, karibu gives the ferengis the thrill of knowing a local word.
    Missed the deadline but will write in with that anyway.
    Also, love watching the scramble for tourist dollars on CNN! Incredible India, Malaysia Truly Asia, The Land of Noah, etc... They should have an ad-off! With voting from around the world :-)

    heh. original word ver was Plistin. Tanzania National Parks - nature at it's most plistin!


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